Remembering Our First Date

"It was Jan 31st, 30 years ago.

On that cold winter night, I headed out to Ottawa to meet my bling date - someone I had briefly talked with over the phone. I was more like an arranged gate through a dating agency, a precursor to today's online dating.  This was truly a bling date as we had no photos of each other. 


And this was pre-phone apps and the internet as we know it today. My initial intention for this date was to just go out, meet with this guy, have a nice meal and get back home to enjoy the rest of my night. 

I'd been a single mom for the last four years and had resolved that I'd be raising my son on my own, running my business and enjoying my life, alone if I needed to. I'd met several men in the past and struggled with how most of them had no clue at the level of responsibility involved in raisin a kid. They complained about my long working hours (I'm a single mom, with my own business - what did you expect?)and not having much free time.

When I first spoke with Bernard, I was somewhat flippant about meeting with him. I expected him to be like the other men I'd met. What made me say yes to this date was he's willingness to say "Hey, if yo're too busy to go out for dinner, maybe we're not meant to see each other." I liked that about him. Direct and to the point.

We both arrived at the Chinese restaurant at the same time. Perfect! On time. We looked at each other to check if this was who we were to meet. Remember, we had no pictures, only brief descriptions of what we'd be wearing. "Hi! I'm Bernard. Are you Claudette?" So far, so good.

I was impressed when he opened the door for me, gave way for me to go in first, took my coat and hung it in the closet. Great manners! More brownie points.  The best part was when he pulled out my chair for me to sit. It might seem minor to some, but manners showed me how Bernard treated people, at least his dates. In my book, that was important.


Our Deal Breakers

We started with small talk such as what we did as work, our kids, any interest and hobbies. The more we talked, the more I liked him. But I also didn't want to waste any of our time dating if we had some major differences that would become deal breakers.

For example, Bernard's deal breakers were:

  • someone who smoked (I'd quite 6 years ago)
  • anyone who took drugs (does Tylenol count?)
  • a heavy drinker (I could hardly finish one beer)
  • and a chronic tardiness (this was definitely something I had to work on)


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